What do you do when the Development team skip the Lessons Learned meeting far too often due to tight timelines and a rush into the delivery of the next project? Or management say they support you in conducting a Lessons Learned session only to decline their own attendance last minute?
Do you recognize these scenarios and do they ever leave you thinking if we are all too busy to learn from our mistakes, or have we seemingly forgotten about the value of reflecting on Lessons Learned?
How having a Lessons Learned best practice can make the difference between success or failure!
I bet on the life of my cat (who I love dearly) that most of us would agree that some of the best learning's in life and business are those we make from our mistakes.
So why do so many of us commit the same mistakes over and over? Sometimes more than twice, sometimes consistently?
It costs our businesses thousands every year. The answer lies in having an integrated best practice of running a Lessons Learned meeting after your project has been delivered, and being ‘Dutch’ about the mistakes. At Clifford Chance Applied Solutions we swear by a strong culture of speaking our opinion - and we proudly call it being 'Dutch'.
Running a Lessons Learned session with an open mind and respecting everyone’s opinion can highlight that missing piece or chain of events that will result in getting it right the next time, i.e the difference between success and failure. Your team is actually often the best source to tell you what went wrong. But you have to listen to them. This results in a low cost alternative to gather feedback, compared to the cost of repeating a mistake or organising training, seminars and conferences that many companies give their employees with the expectation of improving results.
We all learn throughout life, make mistakes and celebrate successes
Sometimes we learn a lesson overnight and sometimes we need to take small steps at a time to get us to where we want to be.
Reflecting on your Lessons Learned from a previous can be a powerful tool to help you avoid mistakes, minimise risks and simply forget about politics for a moment while your team focus on identifying the steps to avoid the same mistake(s) next time.
Democratically deciding on one to a maximum of three lessons that will be implemented into your next project is usually something that is reflected on the bottom line. At CCAS our Product Owners insist on holding Lessons Learned meeting with their teams before they close a project. They do not want to waste their time having to solve the same mistake again and again, raising change requests, explaining to management and so on. They want to do even better every time.
And this practice is part of what puts CCAS in the forefront of legal tech development.
It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure. (Bill Gates)